Supporting Asylum Seekers in Cyprus

Cyprus has the highest number of asylum seekers per capita in all of Europe. Our Dignity Centre in the heart of the Cypriot capital, Nicosia, currently serves 300 members each week.

We’ve been in Cyprus since 2019. After deciding as an organisation to focus on short-term, essential support, we reopened the Dignity Centre in September 2021 with a targeted range of services.

Supporting Those Most In Need

In Cyprus, people who leave the First Reception Centre, also known as Pounara Camp, are in greatest need—and its to those we provide resources.

We offer a Welcome Pack, which includes access to our services for five weeks, which covers the time period that new arrivals have to wait to access state support once leaving the camp.

What’s in a Welcome Pack?

1. A weekly ‘free shop’ at the Dignity Market

Each member can shop for the equivalent of €8.40’s worth of food and hygiene items, which is a crucial supplement to their daily needs. What’s more, because we source products locally and in bulk, this amount of ‘money’ goes further than it would in a normal shop.

We distribute food via our Dignity Market because it’s dignified, offers choice and creates a small sense of normality. The food is essential—but what we are really doing is feeding spirits by providing agency and solidarity.

A typical basket for an individual

2. Getting employment

For new arrivals in Cypus, bureaucracy can be confusing and slow-moving. We help people to register with the government for work and access to benefits. We also help them to create a CV so they can look for work.

3. Barbering

It’s important to look smart, and this helps enormously with self-esteem. Every Friday, three of our members provide a barbering service for 12-15 people.

Ongoing Support and Solidarity

All former and current members are invited to be part of our WhatsApp group, where we regularly share important information like changes in the law, job opportunities and other support services.

We need you

We need volunteers to continue serving refugees and asylum seekers in Nicosia. It is deeply rewarding work. Find out more and apply to volunteer.

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